'Very good' deals worked on for Putin's visit to N. Korea -Russian envoy

  • World
  • Wednesday, 07 Feb 2024

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un attend a meeting at the Vostochny ?osmodrome in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, September 13, 2023 in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. KCNA via REUTERS/File photo

(Reuters) - Russia and North Korea are working on a "very good" package of agreements to be signed when President Vladimir Putin visits Pyongyang, Russia's envoy to North Korea told the Russian TASS state news agency in remarks published on Wednesday.

Putin last year accepted Kim Jong Un's invitation to visit North Korea, and the Kremlin said last month that timing for the visit, which would be the Russian leader's first in nearly quarter a century, had not been set.

"There has been no discussion yet about the timing of the visit," TASS cited the ambassador, Alexander Matsegora, as saying. "Its preparation is now limited only to work on joint documents that are planned to be signed during the visit. I think that this will be a very good package."

Aside from agreements on making tourism travel between the two countries easier, Matsegora did not reveal any details.

Russia's steps towards closer ties with North Korea after Western sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine in 2022 have met with warnings from the United States of "growing and dangerous" military cooperation between the two.

To keep up the intensity of its attacks on Ukraine, Moscow has turned to Pyongyang and Iran for weapons, including drones and missiles, Washington has said.

On Tuesday, the deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Robert Wood, told a U.N. Security Council meeting that Russia has launched North Korea-supplied ballistic missiles against Ukraine at least nine times.

Both Russia and North Korea have denied the U.S. accusations. Moscow says it will develop ties with whatever countries it wants and that its cooperation with Pyongyang does not contravene international agreements.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I think that the current year will be a breakthrough in Russian-Korean relations in many respects," Matsegora said.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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